Darlinghurst, Sydney
2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom
Tom Ross

A sensitive adaptation brings extra space and light into this 1861 sandstone terrace, without increasing its footprint. The home sits in a row of heritage-listed terraces, which means no external extrusions or major structural intervention was allowed. Key to unlocking extra space inside hinged on turning the unused attic into a sunroom, and reversing the direction of the stairs. The original narrow timber staircase was removed; in its place a new sculptural staircase of white perforated steel was prefabricated off site and installed. Together with glass walls on the upper levels, the staircase draws extra light down through the core of the house.

Conceived as a European ‘wintergarden’, the attic was opened skywards with a large hydraulic skylight and now serves as a a private, sunbathed living space or study. The kitchen downstairs was reconfigured to take full advantage of a small adjoining courtyard, with joinery and appliances organised along the party wall, and an old lean-to bathroom converted to a walk-in pantry.